Fairuza Balk shot to fame as a child actress during the 1980s and was a famous star in the '90s, and has continued to work in films and television to this day. She is also busy with an indie music career. Balk, 44, made her debut in the 1983 TV movie The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, which led her to land a breakout role in Disney's dark 1985 Wizard of Oz sequel Return to Oz. Her performance as Dorothy Gale in the cult movie put her on the path to more films, including Milos Forman's Valmont and the TV movie The Worst Witch opposite Tim Curry.
The Point Reyes, California native, continued landing significant roles in the 1990s and nabbed an Independent Spirit Award for her performance in Allison Anders' Gas Food Lodging. From 1996 to 1998, Balk landed her most prominent roles. In 1996, she starred in Andrew Fleming's supernatural horror movie The Craft, alongside Neve Campbell, Robin Tunney, Skeet Ulrich, Christine Taylor and Rachel True. She also starred in John Frankenheimer's troubled adaptation of The Island of Dr. Moreau, with Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer.
In 1998, she joined Adam Sandler in the comedy The Waterboy, Edward Norton in American History X and Patrick Dempsey in Life in the Fast Lane. Since 2000, when she appeared in Almost Famous, Balk has picked up roles in smaller films. In 2015, she nabbed a seven-episode arc on Showtime's Ray Donovan. In 2017, she starred in August Falls and appeared in 2018's Hell Is Where The Home Is. She is also attached to Paradise City, a spin-off of Ash Avildsen's movie American Satan.
When Balk is not acting, she is recording as Armed Love Militia. Last year, she released the EP Raw Live Lo-Fi, and has shared her work on YouTube. "Music is such a mysterious thing. I truly do believe that sometimes if you're lucky it does just arrive or comes through you from another place entirely," Balk wrote of her music-writing process on her blog.
"Perhaps it lives in the collective unconscious already and we just tap into it from time to time. When you listen to Mozart or Bach it seems like they must have been tapped into some other sphere of consciousness to be able to write such incredible music and so prolifically. Of course, having training in classical music and theory is a huge part of it for geniuses like them, but there is something otherworldly in their music for sure."
Balk often uses her blog to share musings with fans about the creative process. In one post, she wrote about the lessons she learned from being in a "creative rut."
"The biggest lesson I've been learning lately is that when you find yourself unable or unsure as to how to move forward, a good way to help get you through it is to just start doing, start experimenting without any expectations," she wrote. "It's not something that I do easily as I am by nature a perfectionist and very harsh judge of my own work. If you work/play solely with the intent of exploring, you open yourself up, give yourself room to just explore and have fun. Remember fun? Yeah exactly. I love that saying 'Dance like no one's watching.' It's that feeling applied to whatever form of creativity you choose. It's been working well for me."
In March, Sony hired Life In Pieces star Zoe Lister-Jones to direct a remake of The Craft, but there are no plans for Balk to appear in the film. In 2015, she told fans on Twitter she is not interested in remakes. "I don't care for the idea of remakes," she wrote. "There are great scripts & ideas out there that have yet to be made!"